Party Bus FAIL

To the organizers of Homegrown,

On the surface of it, having a “Highway 61 night” theme to Wednesday’s homegrown festivities seemed like a good idea. But it would have been a much better idea had there been adequate transportation up that namesake road to the Lakeview Castle, the main venue of the later evening, as was advertised. Frustratingly, there was not.

The night started well enough at the Twins Bar, with a stellar (as always) performance by the Rez. The “first” bus left on its journey to the Castle at 9 PM as scheduled. I wasn’t on it, but I imagine it was fairly sparsely ridden, as the bar was still pretty empty and the first act was still playing at that point.

Though none of the Homegrown volunteers working the Twins seemed to know anything specific about the bus times, the Homegrown Guide gave the impression that the bus would go up, turn around and come back, making multiple trips throughout the evening. But it turns out we were falsely led.

I talked to several people, who all were under the impression that the next bus would come be at 10. Between 9 and 10, the Twins went from sparse to quite full. Several people arrived specifically to catch the 10 PM bus up the shore, maybe to have a drink first. At least a couple dozen people were waiting for the bus around 10, but it didn’t show up and didn’t show up. Finally, we received word from a volunteer that the bus was parked at the Castle and wouldn’t be leaving there until 11 for another run.

What should have been a completely fun night became tainted with frustration. Had the bus done its job as advertised, we all could have gotten up there in time to see Old Knifey (a travesty to be missed) and stayed long enough to make the 25-minute trip worthwhile. But as it stood, you had a couple dozen people out waiting in the rain instead of at least being informed of the situation in a timely manner so they could go back inside, relax and enjoy the music at Twins. It also became a potentially dangerous situation when people who had already had a few drinks got fed up with waiting and decided to drive themselves up the shore instead of taking the bus. And once those unlucky enough to stick it out for the bus got on and got up the shore, they only had an hour or so of musical talent to enjoy at the Castle.

9 PM is a fine time to start running a bus if it’s your FIRST bus. But it’s too early to be the ONLY reasonable bus. Advertising a back-and-forth shuttle and then not having one just isn’t cool. Better to have no bus than half a bus and leave people stuck.

21 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

Homegrown apologizes for the total disaster that was Wednesday night's bus service.

The short version of the story is that Custom Cab failed to properly communicate the itinerary to the bus driver. The problem was corrected by 11 p.m., but obviously that was too late to help matters much.

mrashley

about 11 years ago

Paul, all will be forgiven if the promised limo service for the Supertacks to and from the show goes off without a hitch.  Also, please remember our M&M rider.  Keep up the not for profit, free of wages work you and the rest of the Homegrown staff does.

c-freak

about 11 years ago

"Keep up the not for profit, free of wages work you and the rest of the Homegrown staff does."

i heart you sir.

wildgoose

about 11 years ago

I had a Custom Cab driver problem of my own recently, hmmm ...

In the service industry, you really want to have good service.  And training ... and communication ... you know, good service. Especially in a small-ish town like this one.

Ditto on the praise for the homegrown team even though I can't go or even volunteer this year (due to various surgeries and new human beings to look out for.) I am just glad that the festival goes forward and blossoms.  And that's not just me hoping I get an "i heart you sir" from c-freak, although that would be nice.  A hug would be even better, now that I think of it ...

Gunns

about 11 years ago

I saw the bus pull up outside Burrito Union while I was playing last night around 11:30. From what I could tell, I think about 5 people were on it. I assume they came off the bus anyway. Oh well, not everything goes smoothly.

Calk

about 11 years ago

Shit happens. Considering all the different moving parts, Homegrown goes off pretty well. I was on a boat cruise once a publisher hosted on Lake Michigan. After the cruise ended and we docked, there was no way to leave the dock area if you didn't have wheels. A group of us had to walk over to the Shedd Aquarium area in the middle of the night to find a cab. At least the weather was nice. My colleague still laughs over a cab whizzing by us, not stopping, and me shouting out in frustration, "You fuckerrrrrrrrr!!!"

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

Right now I'm imagining the Homegrown steering committee going into the boardroom, where Donald Trump will fire one of us.

I'm going to blame Omarosa.

Calk

about 11 years ago

Paul, as long as you don't let out the endless stream of profanities Melissa and Joan Rivers did when Melissa got fired Sunday night on Celebrity Apprentice! It was one long bleep, except when Joan Rivers called one member of Melissa's team a "Nazi" and the other "stupid blonde." OMG. Must-watch TV.

Ramos

about 11 years ago

Ha ha! Ask Custom Cab about the time their party bus brought a bunch of UMD students to Tower Avenue but forgot to pick them up again at bar close. I shouldn't laugh.

oldknifey

about 11 years ago

We were wondering why the castle didn't fill in until around 11-11:30. This clears a lot of things up. That being said, I am grateful for all of the word down by the homegrown steering committee and volunteers. Keep up the good work.

Camila

about 11 years ago

OMG, indeed, Calk! I only watched in the hopes that one of those two would be dismissed. What's the point now? 

And if Joan opts to return to the next show next SUnday, I hope Donald has to balls to fire her as well. Her poor parenting skills should be reason enough. :)

Calk

about 11 years ago

I also hope Joan returns Sunday, b/c she's a laugh with her potty mouth and that Halloween-pumpkin-left-out-too-long visage. Her daughter has to get over high school, jesus, she's 40 years old already. This is the best season of apprentice yet.

vicarious

about 11 years ago

Can we talk...about Joan Rivers' insanely awful plastic surgery? Why can't Hollywood people just grow old gracefully?

rediguana

about 11 years ago

Apologies gratefully accepted... how worldview-confirming to know it was the private for-profit company that screwed up and not the awesome HG volunteers who slave their a**es off so poor saps like me can get to see a lot of damn good music. WTG guys!

river

about 11 years ago

I hope you guys won't nix the bus next year b/c of low ridership.  We had intended to ride it down to the Reef but stayed at Twins Bar due to confusion about its schedule and not wanting to get stranded in the rain.  Having an itinerary printed in the booklet would have been great.  Thanks for a festival that is otherwise generally great!

Calk

about 11 years ago

Maybe talk to John Ramos next year b4 you look for a company to do the buses? I'm sure he could give some good pointers and advice.

Dan O"Hearon

about 11 years ago

Hey johnny ramos.,.,.this is DAN O'HEARON you know CUSTOM CAB .,.,.Just wanted to drop you a line and say  HEY, THANK YOU FOR ALL THE FREE ADVERTISING   YOU HAVE GIVEN ME OVER THE YEARS, your latest add in the TRANSISTOR was a good one. WOW the whole back page, NICE! so again THANK YOU.  Considering you drive for another cab co here in Duluth. and a Princeton grad you'd think you would be smarter than to brag up your competition like that. YOU MUST BE looking to come drive for the BEST cab co in Duluth CUSTOM CAB. Give me a call or you can reach me at (customcabcoduluth.com) any time.  Have a great day, and again THANK YOU. YOU HAVE BEEN A GREAT ALLI TO CUSTOM CAB SINCERELY    DAN O'HEARON

wildgoose

about 11 years ago

I love it when people can get together for peace and commerce and beauty in this town.  After reading the cheerleaders latest http://www.transistormag.com/ article myself I would have thought that Mr. O'Hearon might be feeling defensive, but apparently that is not the case at all.

wildgoose

about 11 years ago

Oh ... the Cheerleader IS Ramos, right?  It's one of my wife's favorite columns - anywhere.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

A few notes for confused readers:

The Cheerleader is a Web site (shiningreputation.com) and formerly a magazine. John's column in the Transistor is called "John's Advice Column." 

The column about Dan O'Hearon and Custom Cab was in the July 13 issue.

peter keesey

about 11 years ago

Dude! Do you know where I can charter a party bus in duluth? I am getting married in two harbors and need a bus to take us there. But after the wedding I think my fiance' is going to need a drink.

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